Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor today regarding a report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office showing the average U.S. tax rate is the lowest in more than 30 years. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
This week Republicans continued to make the case that millionaires and billionaires can’t afford to pay even a penny more in taxes.
Meanwhile, a new report shows average tax rates are at their lowest level in decades.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported this week that in 2009 rates fell to their lowest level in more than 30 years.
Much of that decline is thanks to President Obama – who has consistently fought to lower taxes for middle-class families over the last three and a half years.
The average tax rate in this country fell to the lowest rate since 1979 – 17.4 percent.
Of course, that’s still a higher rate than Mitt Romney pays.
But most Americans don’t have the benefit of Swiss bank accounts or tax shelters in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
As our economy continues to recover, it’s critical we keep tax rates low for the middle class.
They’re still struggling to pay the mortgage, send their kids to college and save for retirement.
That’s why President Obama and Democrats in Congress want to extend tax cuts for 98 percent of American families.
But there’s one group that’s not struggling – Mitt Romney and the rest of the top 2 percent of Americans.
They can afford to contribute a little bit more to get this country’s deficit under control.
Yet Republicans are prepared to block tax cuts for 98 percent of families unless Democrats agree to even more giveaways for the richest of the rich.
As Republicans continue to argue the wealthiest 2 percent can’t contribute even a little more, I urge them to talk to the three-quarters of Americans who disagree.
I urge them to talk to some of the almost 60 percent of Republicans who believe the wealthiest Americans should shoulder their fair share of the responsibility for getting the deficit under control.
And I urge them to talk to a few of the more than 135 million taxpayers who are waiting to see whether Republicans will continue holding their tax cuts hostage.